Prevention Is Better Than Cure Says Bukola Saraki | WakaWaka Reporters
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Prevention Is Better Than Cure Says Bukola Saraki

Senate President, Abubakar Bukola Saraki has said that the Federal Govern­ment’s current approach­es to the fight against corruption were not yielding results because emphasis was placed on punishment than pre­vention.

Also, former Speaker of the House of Repre­sentatives, Alhaji Gali Umar Na’Abba, has attributed corruption in the country to the failure of government.

Saraki, therefore, called for the prioritization of deterrence than punishment in other to win the ongoing war against corruption.

In his speech at the public presentation and signing ceremony of Senator Dino Melaye’s book titled: “Antidotes For Corruption – The Ni­gerian Story”, in Abuja on Monday, Saraki asserted that deterrence is a better approach to fighting the corruption scourge.

Saraki said, “I am convinced that we must return to that very ba­sic medical axiom that prevention is better than cure.

“Perhaps, the reason our fight against corruption has met with rather limited success is that we appeared to have favoured punishment over deterrence.

“We must review our approaches in favour of building systems that make it a lot more difficult to carry out corrupt acts or to find a safe ha­ven for corruption pro­ceeds within our borders.

“In doing this, we must continue to strengthen accountability, signifi­cantly limit discretion in public spending, and promote greater open­ness,” he said.

Continuing Saraki noted,” The problem with that approach, how­ever, is that the justice system in any democ­racy is primarily inclined to protect the funda­mental rights of citizens.

“Therefore, it contin­ues to presume every accused as innocent un­til proven guilty. Most often, it is difficult to establish guilt beyond all reasonable doubts as required by our laws. It requires months, if not years of painstaking in­vestigations.

“It requires highly ex­perienced and techni­cally sound investigation and forensic officers. It requires anti-corruption agents and agencies that are truly independent and manifestly insulated from political interfer­ence and manipulation.”

He argued that the present administration has not met the stan­dard of winning the war against corruption noting, “We must ad­mit that we are still far from meeting these stan­dards.”

The Senate President further observed, “Most often, it is difficult to establish guilt beyond all reasonable doubts as required by our laws. It requires months, if not years of painstaking investigations. It requires highly experienced and technically sound inves­tigation and forensic officers.

Na’Abba, who was the chairman of the occa­sion, observed that cor­ruption is an embodi­ment of deviant culture.

“As far as am con­cerned, corruption is not only financial. Corrup­tion simply means devi­ance. Therefore, what­ever we do and wherever we do it, we must un­derstand that corrup­tion is simply a failure of leadership whether it is financial or non-finan­cial.”

The Speaker of the House of Representa­tives, Hon Yakubu Dog­ara, urged Nigerians to be more responsive and cooperate with the government in the fight against corruption.

Earlier, Senator Me­laye said that the harm­ful effects of corruption which must be tackled inspired him to write the book.

The event was attend­ed by eminent Nigerians including former Secre­tary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, and the immedi­ate past First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan.